The Interreg Italy-Malta program is underway: first call for 27 million

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It was published online a few days ago but for the official status we will have to wait a few more days when the publication arrives in the Gazzetta. It is the first call for tenders of the new Interreg Italy-Malta 2021-2027 programming, a European territorial cooperation program of a cross-border maritime type involving Sicily and Malta with the aim of strengthening the economic and social cohesion of the area: this is the notice n. 1 of this program and in general, as regards Sicily, notice no. 1 of the entire programming of EU funds 2021-2027. «The one between Sicily and Malta – says the councilor for Infrastructure and mobility of the Sicilian Region, Alessandro Aricò – is an important collaboration lasting over ten years which involves two islands that represent the heart of the Mediterranean. The programming cycle of the Interreg Italy-Malta Program 2014/2020, which invested over 51 million euros in the two cross-border territories, closed with excellent results and, now, the new 2021/2027 cycle opens which will finance projects on various themes with particular attention to environmental ones, to research but also to the exchange of good practices which will contribute even more to the socio-economic development of two territories so central in the Mediterranean area”.

The first notice of the new programming

This first notice is worth 27.669 million out of a total program budget of 57.604 million euros, 80% co-financed by the European Union, thanks to the European Regional Development Fund. The program is managed by the Management Authority chaired by Vincenzo Falgares, general director of the Programming department of the Sicilian Region who explains: «The first Notice of the 21-27 cycle makes 27 million euros available to the two territories for cooperation projects: research innovation, and competitiveness; environmental protection, climate change and the circular economy; a new priority for culture and tourism and the development of social inclusion. These are three of the main experiences on which we have built and which, in the new programming, will find a further element of strengthening and specialization. We have the ambition and hope with this notice that the range of partners in the program can be broadened.”

The public presentation of the tender took place during the closing event of the Interreg Italia Malta 2014-2020 Programme, which had a financial allocation of 51.708 million and financed 33 projects, implemented by 158 beneficiaries (96 Italian and 62 Maltese).

The four priorities of the notice

The new tender, in line with what was established by the Supervisory Committee, moves along four priority axes. The first, which is earmarked for 9.386 million, aims to promote research and innovation and the development of skills for smart specialization with two specific objectives: developing and strengthening research and innovation capabilities and the introduction of advanced technologies in cross-border area (the budget is six million); develop skills for smart specialization, industrial transition and entrepreneurship in the cross-border area (the budget is 3.386 million).

Attention to environmental sustainability

The second priority aims to strengthen the protection and preservation of nature also through the efficient use of resources and has, in this call, a total budget of 13.241 million and pursues three specific objectives: promoting adaptation to climate change, prevention disaster risks and the resilience of the cross-border area (the budget is 5.693 million); promote the transition towards a circular economy in the cross-border area (the budget is 2.515 million); strengthen the protection and preservation of nature, biodiversity and green infrastructure and reduce all forms of pollution in the cross-border area (the budget is just over five million). The third priority indicated in notice 1/2023 focuses on the role of culture and sustainable tourism in economic development and has only one specific objective: to strengthen the role of culture and sustainable tourism in the cross-border area in economic development, social inclusion and in social innovation (the budget is 1.976 million). The fourth priority aims to improve governance between Italy and Malta by increasing the efficiency and effectiveness of cooperation in the cross-border area (the budget is 3.043 million).

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